B League (Ex pro players, college players)
B/C League (a decent amount of junior players and people that have played 5 years+)
Upper C (My level, solid everything, ie backwards crossovers are no problem, quick slappers, hard wristers (2-6 years exp)
Middle C (Not great skaters, backwards can pose problems, decent shots, hockey sense is still "off", 1-3 years exp)
Lower C (Wobbly on their skates at speed, very poor shooting, except for the one or two on each team that are playing down, 0-2 years exp)
Nothing is as finite as I wrote out there, but generally speaking it holds true.
The most players are in lower C, 16 teams compared to 6 in upper C and 6 in B/C league at my rink. Lower C makes up about 50 percent of the beer league.
When you guys talk about "skills", shouldn't the physical aspect come into play? Like size, speed and endurance?
I mean, i'd easily fall into the Advanced category. However, I don't think I will be able to come up to par in say the US or Canada especially at my age group. I'm just too small, period. If I live in US/Canada, I'd be grateful enough to play beer league.
When i was in junior years, I played with Swedish boys and yes they were bigger than me but not by many so I can still do well.
Afterwards, they just got a lot bigger while I stayed tiny
They should, mainly speed and endurance, size isn't a huge factor in beer leagues though, all the ones I know of are non-contact so speed and skill are the most critical. In my league there's this small guy about 5'5" who is just the smoothest skater and has pretty crazy dangles he pretty much dominates against everyone even big hulking guys. Size mainly helps to win battles in corners, otherwise other attributes prevail in almost every situation.
I think average skill could be defined as being good at everything but being great at nothing. You're a good hockey player, you're not a ringer and you cannot take over games all by yourself. If you're put on a line with other good players you can excel, if you're put on a line with inferior players your numbers will suffer.
I am venturing a good guess that it depends on the size of the city/town your league is based in. I can't imagine a 17 tier league!!!!
I believe almost all of the Windsor, ON rec leagues are just that - rec. I know there used to be (not sure if they still are around) some leagues that were basically all players who had played at least some form of junior (B and up), as well as university and minor pro. Any of the other leagues I know usually have restrictions that any player cannot have played over a certain level within the last couple years - prevents ringers I guess.
Most of the leagues I have played in - the players mostly fall into the intermediate-advanced category as stated by Tucker 06. Very few Expert, and a smattering of beginners. I would slot into the advanced using the criteria posted.
I would strive to be in a league where I have to push myself to keep up with the best. I gives you something to work for.
Same where I am. I would also say that the adult league at my rink would have a fraction of the players if it was a checking league.
I'm 40 and have been skating for a year. I don't need any checking.
Not only would it be rough on a new adult player having to take hits all of a sudden, but you'd also get those beginners that want to start dishing out hits and would likely be extremely reckless & dangerous because they don't know what they're doing.
We have gold silver a/b and bronze. When I feel ready to join a league should I start in bronze or would I learn more in silver b perhaps?
I'd go watch the two leagues first-hand - that will tell you more than people on the internet who haven't seen either will be able to tell you (as you've probably gathered from this thread, the abilities of leagues vary widely).
Usually the guys with hands miles better than their skating are the inline/street hockey guys.
Oh, and the toe-draggers
There's this guy that started coming to pickups here a year ago or so. Guy could stickhandle in a phone booth and had some evil dangles but to turn he just leaned one way and had to wait for his body to complete the curve. He had no edge control whatsoever. It was hilarious.
The best part was, EVERY TIME he got a breakaway he would go wide and just as he entered the offensive zone he'd let a huge slapper go, just below the blue line above the faceoff dot. 100% of the time it sailed about 3 feet above and 3 feet wide of the net. Not even remotely close.
In the leagues in Vancouver that I've played in, I'd say the average player on an average team in a middle tier (i.e. tier 4 out of 7, tier 6-7 out of 12, etc.) is a guy who topped out at roughly Midget A when he was younger (based on the Midget A/AA/AAA system). A solid hockey player who skates pretty well, solid puck handler and shooter, a guy who played travel hockey, but not crazy good like the ex-Junior players. Either that, or a guy who played high school hockey, or even a top notch ex-house league player, who has really worked on his game and improved since finishing minor hockey.
Originally Posted by TUCKER 06
Beginner: can't stick handle but "pushes" the puck with the blade of the stick, can accept a pass about 50% of the time, can pass the puck well 50% of the time. can only skate forward and does so by shuffling their feet or "walking," has little or no concept of positioning, breakouts, rules.
Intermediate: foundations of stick handling are present but not refined, developing a shot with a little bit of power and accuracy, more developed skating skills - stopping and starting, forward crossovers, acceleration, can skate backwards but not do backward crossovers - receives passes 75% of time and passes accurately 75% of the time. basic understanding of positioning, knows the rules of the game.
Advanced:stick handling is ingrained at this point (does it naturally), can reliably shoot with power and accuracy and can handle one-timers with no problem connecting, skating exhibits excellent edge control and agility - at this point pivoting, backward skating skills and power skating skills have all been developed to the point that they appear to be natural movements - can accept passes 95-100% of the time and passes accurately 95-100% of the time, excellent knowledge of positioning, set plays, etc.
Expert: amazing at everything, plays like they were born with skates on their feet and a stick in their hand.
This is just a quick guide I've made up just now to help myself evaluate where I fit in to the spectrum. I certainly wouldn't classify myself as an "advanced" player but I probably fall somewhere between "intermediate" and "advanced." With a lot more ice-time and off-ice training I hope to reach the advanced stage by next winter.
That's a pretty good scale. On this scale an "intermediate" player would IMO be one of the worst players on their team in the middle tier of a decent sized league, or a mediocre player in one of the bottom tiers. A below average player. I'd say your "advanced" designation would be roughly the average player on middle tier beer league team in Vancouver, or maybe just a touch below "advanced" (i.e. the average player would be between "intermediate" and "advanced," but closer to "advanced").